HC Deb 04 February 1960 vol 616 cc1205-6
23. Mr. Holland

asked the Minister of Education how many maintained primary schools are co-educational, for boys only, and for girls only; and how many of the boys' primary schools are fully staffed with masters.

Sir D. Eccles

In January, 1959, there were 558 boys', 595 girls', and 22,462 mixed primary departments in England and Wales. In the boys' departments three-quarters of the teachers were men.

Mr. Holland

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask whether he agrees that every effort should be made to maintain some freedom of choice for parents between, on the one hand, co-educational schools and, on the other hand, separate schools for boys and girls? Does he not also agree that boys should be taught by masters even at the primary stage?

Sir D. Eccles

I am glad to tell my hon. Friend that the number of men teaching in junior schools is increasing. In fact it has risen by 9,300 in the last ten years, and the percentage of men teachers in the junior schools is slightly higher than it was ten years ago.